Does fear of being duped stop you from dating?
Internet dating used to have a very bad reputation for being the playground for tricksters – people who lie about their age, status or even their gender. While there are no guarantees that people won’t misrepresent themselves online it is true to say that the vast majority of people using eHarmony are genuine and the myths about online dating relate more to free dating services without any sign up process.
However the fear of falling victim to a player is still very real for some people – so much so that it may prevent them from going on dates at all. This fear often stems from the fact that they don’t believe they will be able to tell the difference between a sincere match and a false one.
The term ‘player’ is used to describe someone who is confident and successful and has many sexual partners. They are usually deceptive and manipulative but this veil of deception often hides low self worth and an inability to form secure attachments.
Even the savviest singles may occasionally be caught out by a player but if you have been single for a long time or struggle with your own self esteem you may be particularly vulnerable so it is important that you know how to spot one of these slippery characters.
10 things to look out for:
1. A whirlwind romance – players often declare their feelings for you very quickly leaving you reeling from the force of their affections; their charm, enthusiasm and interest in your life.
2. The rest of your life seems dull in comparison – a player wants you to believe that your life has no value without them – it is like emotional hijacking – they want all of your attention
3. Early dependence – along with the emotional attachment a player also wants you to believe that you couldn’t manage without them so they may be overly helpful and interested in your life – this is actually a way of gaining control.
4. Charming to everyone – a player wants to be right in the centre of your life and will normally make great efforts with your family and friends who are likely to fall for their charms.
5. Lack of substance – a player often boasts about things but rarely follows through with evidence to back up their claims.
6. Lack of information – although players talk about themselves a lot they don’t necessarily give any real information about themselves like where they live or work – they are so interested in bamboozling you with flattery and grandiose plans you may not even notice.
7. Sudden withdrawal – this often happens when the relationship becomes sexual because they have fulfilled their aim.
8. You start being the pursuer rather than the pursued – often people who have fallen hard for a player and believed it was the real deal will go all out to win them back spending money, time, energy and effort and even compromising their own principals and standards to do so.
9. Fragile ego – the motivation behind a player’s behaviour is not just sexual fulfilment but a fix for their ego. They feed off your response to them – the more charming they are the better your response and they get a feeling of euphoria.
10. Underneath it all – behind the mask of confidence and bravado players are usually scared and feel unlovable. They are drawn to many intense, short relationships rather than longer, more sustained attachments because that would expose their vulnerability.
A realistic view
If someone exhibits one or two of the characteristics above it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a player – what you are looking at is the whole picture and over a period of time because to a certain degree we are all players. We all trying to negotiate relationships and situations so that we get our needs met and feel autonomous in our lives but most people become more honest as a relationship develops and are committed to working things through – a player will just move on to the next victim leaving you bewildered and confused.
Rather than avoiding dating for fear of falling victim to a player a better strategy would be to hold off committing yourself to someone – no matter how flattering they are – until you have really got to know them. Take all the time you need and don’t let anyone push you into something you feel uncomfortable about – e.g. loaning them money when you have just met. If you are in any doubt cut contact and call customer services.
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